Atlanta's new College Football Hall of Fame gives the media a look at it's "playing field". BOB ANDRES/BANDRES@AJC.COM

College Football Hall of Fame sets opening date, name

The College Football Hall of Fame has set the opening date for its new home in downtown Atlanta: Aug. 23.

That’s the Saturday before the start of the college football season — and two days ahead of the grand opening the Hall had tentatively planned.

“It’s not often that a construction project opens early, but we are,” said John Stephenson, president and CEO of Atlanta Hall Management, the organization charged with building and operating the Hall of Fame here.

Stephenson also disclosed the official name of the facility: The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience.

Chick-fil-A has signed a 30-year agreement as lead sponsor.

Other founding sponsors are AT&T, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Coca-Cola and Kia.

The National Football Foundation decided in 2009 to move the college football shrine here from South Bend, Ind. The 94,000-square-foot, $66-million attraction is located in a former Georgia World Congress Center parking lot on Marietta Street, near Centennial Olympic Park.

Construction began in January 2013 and will be completed by Aug. 1, Stephenson said.

Tickets will go on sale to the public on Aug. 1.

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